"Design Sprints and the Spacing Effect: Enhancing Creativity and Learning Efficiency"



Jul 29, 20233 min read


"Design Sprints and the Spacing Effect: Enhancing Creativity and Learning Efficiency"


Design sprints and the spacing effect are two concepts that may seem unrelated at first glance, but when examined closely, they share common principles that can enhance creativity and learning efficiency. In this article, we will explore the benefits of design sprints and the spacing effect, and how they can be applied in various aspects of life and work. Additionally, we will provide actionable advice on how to incorporate these concepts into your own endeavors.

Design Sprints: A Framework for Problem Solving

Design sprints are a methodology aimed at solving design-related problems by rapidly prototyping and validating ideas within a short timeframe. The process typically spans over five days, with each day focusing on a specific stage: preparing, understanding, diverging, deciding, prototyping, and validating. By following this structured approach, teams can streamline their design process and arrive at innovative solutions efficiently.

The Spacing Effect: Maximizing Retention and Learning

Contrary to traditional rote memorization techniques, the spacing effect suggests that learning is more effective when information is learned in multiple, spaced-out sessions. This concept, first identified by psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, highlights the importance of interval learning in improving retention and recall. By spacing out repetitions and reinforcing previously learned information, we can enhance our ability to remember and apply knowledge.

Common Principles and Insights:

Upon closer examination, we can identify several common points between design sprints and the spacing effect:

  • 1. Emphasis on Active Learning: Both design sprints and the spacing effect encourage active learning and engagement. In design sprints, teams actively participate in each stage, fostering collaboration and creativity. Similarly, the spacing effect promotes active recall and retrieval of information, which strengthens memory and understanding.
  • 2. Importance of Interest and Emotion: Both concepts recognize the significance of interest and emotion in the learning process. Design sprints rely on the intensity of attention and interest to generate innovative ideas, while the spacing effect suggests that emotional intensity can aid memory retention. By making learning and problem-solving personally meaningful and engaging, we can enhance the effectiveness of both processes.
  • 3. Reinforcement and Progression: Design sprints and the spacing effect both acknowledge the value of reinforcement and progression. In design sprints, each stage builds upon the previous one, reinforcing ideas and refining solutions. Similarly, the spacing effect emphasizes the importance of retrieving previously learned information and reinforcing it over time. By tracking progress and regularly revisiting concepts, we can solidify our understanding and skills.

Actionable Advice:

To leverage the benefits of design sprints and the spacing effect, consider the following actionable advice:

  • 1. Implement Semi-Spaced Repetition: Apply the principles of the spacing effect by incorporating semi-spaced repetition into your learning routine. Instead of cramming information, create a system that allows you to revisit and reinforce previously learned concepts at intervals. This will enhance retention and make future learning more efficient.
  • 2. Foster Collaboration and Engagement: Embrace the collaborative nature of design sprints by actively involving others in your problem-solving process. By seeking diverse perspectives and encouraging engagement, you can generate more innovative ideas and solutions. Similarly, when learning, find ways to actively engage with the material, such as discussing it with others or applying it in practical scenarios.
  • 3. Track Progress and Reflect: Establish a system to track your progress and reflect on your learning journey. This could involve keeping a learning journal, setting goals, and regularly reviewing your achievements. By monitoring your progress, you can gain a sense of improvement and motivation, facilitating continued growth and learning.


Design sprints and the spacing effect offer valuable insights into enhancing creativity and optimizing learning. By incorporating the principles of active learning, interest, reinforcement, and progression, we can improve our problem-solving abilities and retention of knowledge. Through semi-spaced repetition, collaboration, and reflective practices, we can harness the benefits of these concepts in our personal and professional lives. So, embrace the power of design sprints and the spacing effect, and unlock your full potential for creativity and learning.


  1. "デザインスプリントのメリットとNGパターン|THE GUILD 深津氏など実践者が語る | キャリアハック(CAREER HACK)", https://careerhack.en-japan.com/report/detail/470 (Glasp)
  2. "The Spacing Effect: How to Improve Learning and Maximize Retention - Farnam Street", https://fs.blog/spacing-effect/ (Glasp)

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